tv The War Room With Jennifer Granholm Current December 13, 2012 2:00pm-3:00pm PST
♪ which side are you on, boy ♪ ♪ which side are you on ♪ >> jennifer: let's start tonight with one of california's most significant contributions to the world... blue jeans! during the gold rush, bavarian immigrant began making durable cotton pants for miners seeking their fortune in the california hills. that man was levi strauss. now, 140 years later 450 million pairs of jeans are sold every year in the u.s. alone. now, you would think with that volume, the manufacturing process would be totally mechanized but actually a lot of it is still done by hand. a typical pair of jeans is made from 15 individual pieces, someone has to oversee cutting all of those pieces and sew them together and as you can see in this discovery channel documentary, the seams get ironed out flat then the zipper
and the rivets are attached and finally, because who wants new-looking jeans they get distressed. workers put them on giant rubber legs that get blown up like balloons and then they give some rough treatment to them so they really look like they came out of a california mine. now, that discovery channel documentary might show satisfied workers happily doing their jobs but the truth is that kind of work is really hard. it requires a lot of tough manual labor. and for that, american companies have gone overseas and specifically to bangladesh. that country's garment industry, bang la desh's garment industry now accounts for 80% of bangladesh's $24 billion in exports. but with that new booming industry, for bang la desh has come significant problems. last month at a bangladeshi
factory that makes clothes for walmart, sears for disney, a fire started in a pile of clothes. even as the alarms went off managers actually told workers to ignore the alarms and keep on sewing. but the flames continued to spread and hundreds of workers were trapped inside the factory unable to escape because managers locked the doors! reportedly to keep people from stealing. in all 112 people were killed. now, since then, there have been mounting calls for accountability and regulations. >> the equipment is not used properly. there is no training and the equipment is just installed in order to get work orders. workers in our country are dying because of this. workers are being killed. >> jennifer: so far though, no one has taken responsibility.
not the bang la deshshy government or any of the companies that are make clothes there and here's the really blood-boiling part. about a year and a half before the fire, executives from walmart and other big retailers met in bangladesh to talk about workplace safety and they actually came up with an agreement under which each company would report fire hazards, they would pay for safety upgrades and they would sign a legally-binding agreement making them liable for fires. it looked like it was actually going to happen but then, according to "the associated press," walmart's director of ethical sourcing spoke up, saying and this is his quote... >> jennifer: aver a statement like that from the world's largest retailer, walmart which makes $447 billion in revenue
every year, after that, the talks went nowhere. not a single company signed on. now, you might say that's terrible! but something like that could never happen in the united states! well it did. in a historic story with the fire at the triangle shirtwaist factory which was a landmark event for this country's labor movement. in 1911, workers at that factory, that garment factory mostly young women and recent immigrants and kids as young as 14, they were sewing clothes in dangerous conditions and it became tragically clear just how dangerous it was when a fire started in a pile of clothes. sound familiar? well soon, the entire 8th and 9th floors were engulfed in flames but the doors were padlocked shut reportedly to stop union ortion from entering.
so the workers inside couldn't get out. on the streets below crowds gathered and firemen stood by helplessly, their ladders too short to reach the top floors. historian robert caro describes the scene in a pbs documentary. >> someone said they must be throwing -- it was burning as it fell. they must be throwing out the burning bails of clothes. and then other bodies started to come down. people realized, even young girls would go out on the ledge. the flames would be loom up behind them and they jumped, of course to die. tried to cling to the ledge with their fingertips but they couldn't. you have plummeting down to the street scores of burning dead bodies. >> jennifer: in all 145 workers were killed. after that there were major changes to labor laws. new york created a factory
investigating commission to look at safety rules and regulations. it identified 200 other factories with similar conditions. it also mandated better building access and fire alarm systems and limits on child labor. in total 60 new labor laws were put in place in the two years after the fire. as unions gained strength, workers increasingly saw their value. in 100 years since the fire though, the strong regulations that it spurred, might be fraying with dangerous results. in fact, in 1991, the hamlet chicken factory in north carolina a right-to-work state, saw a major fire that was very reminiscent of the triangle shirtwaist factory. the plant had not had a safety inspection. workers were trapped behind locked doors with no fire extinguishers. 25 workers were killed. 55 more were injured. it is incidents like these that
show how important the worker voice is for pushing for safe workplaces. how important unions have been. we ignore those lessons at our own peril. i can tell you, as governor of an industrial state -- i've been in more factories particularly auto factories, than i can count, i can tell you that whenever there is a meeting or an event, any kind of event at an root plant the very first item on the agenda is the safety protocol. they give you hard hats, they give you safety glasses they point out the fire exits. they give you evacuation instructions. it is the first item on the agenda! not the last! it is part of the culture of these, yes unionized factories. workplace safety is a given. remember this as we watch legislatures across the country weaken the voices of workers like they did this week in
michigan. sure, you can make more money, i know, by skirting the edges. by not enforcing standards to ensure the health and well-being of our workers but i ask you... what is more important? a few bucks? or real people's lives? for more on this story i'm joined by labor and workplace reporter steven greenhouse. he's reported on the fire in bangladesh. he's reported on similar fire in pakistan that killed another 226 people. he's coming to us from new york. steven, welcome back inside "the war room." >> nice to be here. >> jennifer: so i'm curious in response to the bangladesh incident walmart released a statement saying that a supplier subcontracted work to this factory without authorization and in direct violation of our policies. today the statement says we have terminated the relationship with the supplier.
will blaming the subcontractor get them out of this? >> walmart is one of the biggest producers in bangladesh. h and m uses many factories. it uses many subcontractors. walmart said we didn't know that the subcontractor that we thought was going to use an approved factory was using this unapproved factory. walmart insists it didn't know. i speak to some labor activists in the united states and also in bangladesh. they say walmart must have known. walmart over the past year was using not just one supplier in the factory but it was using four different suppliers that were making goods for walmart and sam's club at the factory. so for walmart, they could say you know, how are we supposed to know if the subcontractor does something behind our back. walmart's critics say walmart has the world's most
sophisticated global supply chain. it knows what's going on in every nook and cranny. it must have known. >> jennifer: one of the ways they have said that they are monitoring this is by using an industry-led group. you reported on the other factory fire that broke out in pakistan and that factory monitoring group gave that pakistan plant a passing grade on international labor standards but the monitoring system itself is funded by the corporations getting monitored. how effective could a system like that be? >> we have -- system is broken in several ways. first the governments of pakistan and bangladesh do little in terms of monitoring or ensuring factory safety. they're so eager to lure to encourage, to entice companies like walmart and sears and disney and h & m that they kind of look the other way so with
many western consumers upset if factories are dangerous or have minimum wage violations, the companies have helped set up this compliance system to monitor factories. and again some worker advocates, labor advocates say that the system is industry-led, industry-funded and is skewed in favor of granting a passing grade, granting certification even if there are problems in the factories. and walmart and the others say no, this is a good, legitimate system that tries to ensure that things are good for workers. >> jennifer: well obviously -- the facts themselves on the ground demonstrate that that's not the case. so should there be -- i'm wondering, stronger enforcement perhaps on the trade side? should the u.s. require other countries with whom we trade to abide by u.s. safety standards? >> that sounds good in theory, governor but it's really hard. even though workers in
bangladesh, you know, some of whom have had their friends their brothers and sisters die in the fires are very worried that if the united states or europe imposes restrictions saying we will not allow imports from your factories unless they have the same standards as the united states, they worry these factories don't have the money to invest in the safety improvements and that these factories will lose lots of american and european orders and the factories will close and the workers with lose their jobs. i think what we need is for more companies, more western companies, western retailers like walmart or sears or disney to work closely with the bangladeshi manufacturers to make sure they have the wherewithal, the money and the will to improve fire safety, to improve the electrical systems to help make sure that there aren't more fires like the ones we so recently in bangladesh and in pakistan. >> jennifer: you talk about
the big players like walmart an extremely profitable company who has subcontracted perhaps there is some willful blindness there. how much would it cost to upgrade the factories? is that something that really would put them out of business? would it raise the price of the product so much that it would become prohibitive? >> a lot of the western retailers have moved to bangladesh. they used to produce a lot in china. they've decide wages are too high in china. they moved toward bangladesh which has the world's lowest minimum wage for a country that does serious manufacturing about $37 a month. and walmart sears other countries look to bangladesh because they want to produce apparel at the very lowest cost and they're worried if they invest a lot more in, say in wages or fire safety, that might force them to pay $5 a shirt rather than $4 a shirt and they worry that will make them
competitive. my sense is having to talk to experts is western companies import about $18 billion worth of apparel each year from bangladesh and it might cost a billion or $2 billion to get several thousand apparel factories in shape to prevent fires, to provide fire escapes to provide good, safe stairways for people to come down. and i think the thinking is that might raise the price of apparel by 2%, 3%, which wouldn't kill us if we have to pay 50 cents more for a $20 shirt. >> jennifer: that's the issue. return on investment. cost benefit analysis that these companies have to do extremely profitable ones. tomorrow, walmart workers in ten other countries are planning a global day of action which will be interesting to see. and steven greenhouse, thank you so much for joining us inside "the war room." labor and workplace reporter for "the new york times." i would say we need to think
about this as we are shopping for the holidays. as we buy these clothes that are made in bangladesh, that are made in pakistan, remembering the potential sacrifices over there to make sure that we can pay cheap prices. coming up, the will of the people is the only legitimate foundation of any government and to protect its free expression should be our first object. thomas jefferson. pretty smart guy. 200 years ago. tonight, we want to explore what those words mean today. what do they mean for the fiscal cliff where the will of the people is clear. we want the president's plan to say nothing of his choices to fill the cabinet. what do they mean? those words? for the war on drugs where the will of the people is starting to conflict with the law of the land? and what do they mean for women's rights? where the will of the people is being hindered by the rule of the few. it is a thursday night in "the war room." we're just getting started. stick around.
>> jennifer: so, fascinating movement. president obama's second term cabinet starting to take shape. so first this morning bloomberg news reported that former nebraska senator republican chuck hagel is the president's top pick for defense secretary. and that -- that would be replacing bob gates. that would have left senator john kerry out of luck because u.n. ambassador susan rice was in line for the state department post. and then this bombshell... >> good day. we're coming on the air right now to break exclusive word that the united states ambassador to the united nations ambassador susan rice, has transmitted word to the president of the united states that she is withdrawing her own name from any future consideration for nomination to become perhaps the next secretary of state. >> jennifer: wow!
and then president obama in response to her letter, released a statement saying... >> jennifer: he is, of course, referring to the relentless attacks from republicans who suggested that she purposely misled the country about the benghazi attack that killed ambassador christopher stevens. joining me now is bill press. he's most of current tv's "full court press." he's author of "the obama hate machine." the lies, distortions and personal attacks on the president and who is behind them and he's somebody who follows this stuff night and day in d.c. bill, so glad to have you back inside "the war room." especially on an unbelievable news breaking day like today. >> bill: hey governor, it is great to join you.
thank you. >> jennifer: are you surprised by susan rice dropping out? >> bill: you know what? i'm surprised and i'm disappointed. i gotta tell you i think she's a great, great american. i know her well. if i had to pick the top three female leaders in this country today, i would say hillary clinton, jennifer granholm and susan rice. [ laughter ] >> jennifer: you are so funny. bill press for -- we'll put you for secretary of labor. why don't we do that. >> bill: all right. hilda sol ease is another one. here's what's sad about this is i think she deserved to be secretary of state. i think she would make a great secretary of state. and i hate to see her drummed out of there by john mccain and lindsey graham on false charges, number one. and number two, i know everybody says you just have to pick your battles, you know. a lot of people were telling the president, i'm sure, yeah, she would be great but you can't afford to make this your first fight of this -- the end of this
year, the beginning of the next year. you've got -- you can't waste your political capital on this. i'm sorry the president decided not to do it. i think he should have fought right down to the finish line with susan rice. i would rather go down in flames fighting for susan rice than give in to john mccain and lindsey graham. >> jennifer: you know, i know you have to pick your battles. i've been in that situation before. i know he's battling over the cliff. we'll talk about that in a second. but it is an interesting series of dominoes that fall here. susan rice does not get secretary of state. obviously john kerry will get that. he's the senator from massachusetts. what happens in massachusetts because i would imagine massachusetts residents would be sad about losing all of that seniority. >> bill: you know, republicans are saying this is a slam dunk then for scott brown. but jennifer, i would have to say wait a minute! slow down. things have really changed. number one, scott brown is tarnished because he lost to elizabeth warren. this is a far different cry from when he was elected against a
weaker candidate. and number three scott brown if he runs again would have some tough opposition, either duval patrick or i spent a good deal of time saturday night with ed markey who would be a phenomenal candidate. ed told me he is seriously considering -- he came close to telling me he would run for senate if kerry gets the nomination. >> jennifer: breaking news! how do you like that! >> bill: i didn't announce it. i'm saying he's seriously considering it. i think he would an phenomenal candidate. >> jennifer: he would. i would say, i don't know him as well as i know duval patrick who is a great -- he would be fabulous too. it would be interesting to see because if there's a vacancy, i think duvall patrick has to appoint somebody like he did when ted kennedy obviously passed away. so does he appoint a placeholder? does he appoint markey? once you're a governor, you wonder whether somebody's interested in being in a
legislative branch, anyway. it is so fascinating to see how this shakes out. >> bill: and i hope there's another good job. there's got to be another great job for susan rice. i would have to say maybe national security advisor when tom donelan moves along. she deserves it. we need her in a position like that. >> jennifer: yeah, she's one sharp cookie, for sure. it kills me, too that the right won on that if that's, in fact, what happened. let's turn quickly, bill, to the fiscal cliff because as we speak, john boehner and the president are meeting. here's what house speaker john boehner said today about the president's mandate. take a listen. >> it was a mandate for both parties to work together, to take on the big challenges that our country is facing. republicans are ready and eager to do just that. we made a reasonable offer. it is now up to the white house to show us how they're going to
cut spending and give us the balanced agreement that the president has talked about for weeks. >> jennifer: okay, bill, you were at the white house today. what's going to happen? >> bill: well, let me just say first, i'm so -- i try to be as objective as i can hello. i'm so sick of hearing john boehner whine about this stuff! he hasn't put crap on the table! all he does every day is complain that the president hasn't put forth a detailed proposal. there is a book out there. it is the president's proposal. i can tell you becausegy to the briefings, pages 17-45 that's 28 pages of proposed spending cuts by the president and john boehner keeps saying there's not enough specifics. so trying to be positive. i think it is a good idea that they're meeting. it is a good sign that they're meeting right now as you and i are speaking but let me tell you, it is a waste of time unless john boehner walks into that meeting and says "okay we agree, 98% of americans are
going to get a tax cut and taxes are going to go up on 2% of americans." that's what the american people voted for on november 6th. it is about time john boehner realize and accepted the fact that there was an election and obama won. >> jennifer: that's exactly what we've been talking about tonight. really, the will of the people. it is like the republicans -- at least certainly john boehner don't get it. there is an nbc news "wall street journal" poll released today that shows 38% of the country trusts the president in the fiscal cliff talks compared to only 19% who trust speaker boehner and the republicans. obviously the president has got some leverage. and then "the new york times" also found that a disturbing finding, i think, that 85% of john boehner's republicans in the congress who just won re-election with more than 55% of the vote. that, to me, is a problem for the president as well. because they think they have a mandate. each individual one as they come into their office. >> bill: yeah, they're living
in a parallel universe. it is like, you know, jay carney today called it fantasy economics. it is also fantasy politics. look, they lost the white house. they lost the senate. they lost eight seats in the house of representatives. the american people are not with them on this issue. here's what i'm afraid is going to happen. they're going to agree. let the 98% go through. they'll put that up for a vote. that will pass the house. they'll let the tax cuts go up on the wealthiest of americans. 2% at the end of the year. then they're going to kick the can down the road and we're going to have armageddon in january over the debt ceiling and entitlements and all of the rest. and katie bar the door. here we go again. >> jennifer: i guess there is a lot of fodder to be talking about on your show. that's bill press. remember, you can see bill every weekday morning here on current tv at 6:00 a.m. eastern. you early birds. up next, does the will of the people trump what's in the
people's best interests? in other words should we always get what we want? as we deal with a dramatic shift in american's attitudes toward drug use and drug policy, that's one of the questions i have. both as a former prosecutor and frankly as a mother. we'll tackle that story next here in "the war room." the chill of peppermint. the rich dark chocolate. york peppermint pattie
>> jennifer: you all know in november's election, colorado and washington state decriminalized the use of marijuana for recreational purposes. this loosening of the laws really represents a historic shift in the war on drugs. it also presents an unprecedented problem of clashing federal laws and state laws. just today democratic senator patrick leahy, chairman of the senate judiciary committee released a letter to the white house drug czar urging him to explain how is the administration going to solve
this conflict? senator leahy plans to hold hearings on the issue early next year. according to the pot legalization group normal, norml, 26 states have laws decriminalizing or allowing medical marijuana use and then there were also two recent polls from "the huffington post" and quinnipiac university which show, with respect to public support that more than half of the country actually supports the legalization of marijuana. joining me now for insight on how the obama administration might move forward on this very tricky issue is rolling stone national affairs correspondent tim dickinson whose article "obama's pot problem" is in the magazine's current issue. welcome back inside "the war room." >> great to be with you. >> jennifer: the people have spoken. obviously. in at least two states. and pollwise they think that marijuana should be legal. but federal agencies like the d.e.a. maintain enforcement over
controlled substances act obviously. so i want you to listen first to an exchange between the head of the d.e.a., michelle leonhard and colorado democratic congressman jared polis from earlier this year. let's play this. >> i believe alls illegal drugs are -- >> is methamphetamine worse for somebody's health than marijuana? >> i don't think any illegal drug -- >> is heroin worse for someone's health than marijuana? >> again all -- >> yes no, or i don't know. if you don't know, you can look this up. you should know this as chief administrator for the drug enforcement agency. >> jennifer: fascinating to me because -- i'm a former prosecutor. i used to prosecute drug cases. the distinction between marijuana and other drugs is an
interesting distinction. how will the d.e.a. sort this out? >> well, there's actually not much the federal government can do on the state. >> eliot:. the state has broad authority to regulate and criminalize or decriminalize drugs are within the borders. it is a question of whether they can cease to cooperate with the federal governments on prohibition which seems likely now. >> jennifer: why does it seem likely? >> it is the will of the people. this is brute force democracy. both states, the democratic governors did not support -- >> jennifer: what seems likely is the states will not cooperate with the feds in enforcement. >> that's exactly right. the states are going to let a measure of this go forward and the federal government, despite its supreme powers and other realms is powerless to stop that. what the federal government can do is the people -- what they have done is take over -- make this a legal market place.
a syntax essentially that will compensate. what the federal gast -- can do is puncture that argument and say we're not going to let you tax and regulate this substance. it is going to remain in the black market. it is going to be increasing consumption. we do much about that. the harm reduction the ancillary benefits voters were promised, those may not materialize. >> jennifer: the benefits meaning the investment tools that were promised to tax marijuana. just curious. if there is a continued war on marijuana or on drugs overall does that -- who does that benefit? >> in this case, the drug cartels and the administration end up on the same side. >> jennifer: explain that. the drug cartels end up benefitting. >> there was a study by the mexican think tank -- it has a mexican name. i won't try to do it on the air
here. basically, legalization efforts are allowed to go forward successfully, about a quarter of the mexican drug cartels total drug revenues will vanish. that's a significant blow. but if the federal government cracks down and sort of smashes these experiments, the drug cartels keep the revenue. it remains a black market and you know, they keep -- >> jennifer: weird twist. >> it is a strange position to have the prohibitionists and the criminals being on the same side. >> jennifer: so what's really going on inside the obama administration because they've been a bit quiet about this since the passage of these acts in colorado and in washington. >> california tried to do this two years ago eric holder said in no uncertain terms we're going to crack down hard if you go there. colorado being a swing state that made it a more difficult threat. because let's face it, marijuana was more popular than the president this time around. >> jennifer: in colorado. >> they voted for marijuana
legalization than voted for president obama. >> jennifer: the reality is the president can tell eric holder and eric holder can tell the d.e.a. under the department of justice to just put your resources elsewhere and not enforce the federal prohibition on marijuana in states. >> i think that's what they're trying to do with medical marijuana and then they got cold feet about that because it started to proliferate so much in places like california. so there's actually a very simple legal fix which is being put forth by the colorado congressional deligation which is to say let state law take precedence over the controlled substances act. very simple fix that could lobby -- to move forward. >> jennifer: which is essentially what senator leahy was suggesting as well. hang on a second. we're going to carry you over if that's all right. we've got another guest that's joining us. we're going to sneak in a quick break and continue this conversation. it is really fascinating. certainly fascinating for me. on the other side of the break. you're watching "the war room." only on current tv.
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diswrf we're talking about the war on drugs. joining me is rolling stone national affairs correspondent tim dickinson whose article obama's pot problem is in rolling stone's current issue. you were telling me during the break it is amazing how quickly public opinion has shifted on this which could impact what the obama administration does. do we expect a decision? >> eric holder just reported today, a decision will be coming relatively soon. they don't seem to be rushing into this. i don't think they will spend political capital one way or another on this fight but they seem to be soft pedaling, getting away from the euphoria of the election. >> jennifer: this issue about pot is different than -- it is an issue that's solely sequestered around the issue of marijuana. people aren't really seriously talking about legal -- i know they are. some people are talking about
legalizing all of drugs and regulating them all including heroin and everything else. but how serious could that be? >> you know, i think the voters are way ahead of the politicians in making a distinction between the harms of marijuana and the harms of harder drugs. we're talking about a substance that is -- it is less addictive than starbucks. a real question of the integrity of the federal government why do we need to keep this a black market? why can't we trust adults to sensibly regulate this the way we do alcohol and tobacco. that's what the voters across the west certainly are saying and even bills moving forward in rhode island and massachusetts vermont and other places to do the same thing. >> jennifer: i honestly think it is the addictive nature of really the very harmful drugs that lead to other things that cause certainly people like me to say all right marijuana okay but the rest, you know. it is a slippery slope. >> if marijuana is not a gateway drug, it is a gateway to your
drug dealer. do you want your 13-year-old getting this from somebody who got it at a legal store in colorado or somebody who will peddle them crystal meth. >> jennifer: talk about the what regulatory system is at the state level. who's responsible for it? >> the liquor board in colorado and washington state will set up -- single serving -- places of business that just -- package stores that just sell marijuana. it won't be at walmart. if you want to be a dry county, you don't have to sell marijuana. no community is going to get a marijuana store that doesn't want one. in colorado, they have provisions for home growth. you could grow six plants in your house. >> jennifer: last question. a lot of governors are cash hungry. and the promise of potentially seeking non-traditional tax -- want to raise taxes so you can go to come other sources this might be appealing to people. do you think that will end up persuading the politicians who
are behind a lot of times the people? >> i think so. we're talking about real money. half a billion dollars a year in washington state. so if you're in oregon and watching all of your portland people cross the river and go which pick up their weed in vancouver you're missing out. >> jennifer: i'm sure. if you do a campaign saying this is going to be put toward something -- a priority. although pot for schools, i don't know about that. not something i would recommend. sam, thank you so much for joining us inside "the war room." tim dickinson of "rolling stone" magazine. roe v. wade is the law of the land. americans overwhelmingly support a woman's right to choose. michigan handed president obama a 9-point victory five weeks ago so when i see a legislative body sneakily passing anti-choice members in the proverbial dead of night the phrase subverting the will of the people seems mild. my thoughts on that right after the break.
>> jennifer: back in march of 1984 the owner of the baltimore colts moved baltimore's beloved football team to indianapolis. he said he wouldn't do it but in the middle of the night 12 mayflower moving trucks were hired to tear out the region's heart and soul under cover of darkness. it was incredibly unpopular extremely underhanded. and it devastated the people. it even brought baltimore's mayor to tears. what's happening in michigan this week is no less deceptive no less devastating. the republican legislature is ramming unpopular bills down the people's throats. they're doing this in the murky undercover of darkness lame duck session is evidence enough of
how unpopular it is. first it was the right to work bills and now it is bills that are restricting women's freedom to control their bodies and their healthcare choice. first the workers now the women. we can only wonder whose rights they're going to affect next. these bills this week, restrict access to abortion with strict licensing requirements, they allow providers to opt out based upon religious beliefs. they limit insurance access. they give doctors a politician-drafted script to read to women seeking help and they do much more. and these bills will make michigan one of the most regressive states in the nation in terms of women's health. michigan. the friendly blue mitten is giving the people a slap in the face. part of me cannot believe it. but part of me believes it all too well because when i was governor, the republicans in the legislature kept sending me these anti-choice anti-freedom
bills like this and i kept sending them back. i vetoed more bills than any governor in the history of michigan, many of them restricting women's freedom to choose. trying to get our state back to work, the republicans were trying to send our women back in time. i said no! governor snyder should say no, too. i have honestly had great respect for my successor. i have chosen not to criticize him directly. but this week, i confess it has been a challenge for me. after going back on his word and signing those right to work bills, governor snyder, you have to now stand firm for what you must know is right. and veto these anti-women bills. nbc "wall street journal" poll out today showed that 45% of people feel negatively about the republican party compared to only 30% who feel positive.
and even more telling when asked to describe the republicans a whopping 65% of people including half of republicans themselves used negative language like bad or weak or broken or lost. what happened this week in michigan is exactly why people feel that way. the republican party in the capitals of our states and our nation are ignoring the voice of the people. and the people know it. and this is why the current g.o.p. will fail. maybe not today. maybe not in michigan. but soon we're going to make that voice loud enough to knock them down. up next, it is the will of the people that all television programs must air year in review highlight shows. brett ehrlich at first said no to this but alas, his will has been broken. i should say at last. he is next right here in "the
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>> jennifer: for the last two weeks, brett ehrlich has been taking some r &or. no not rest and relaxation but research and reconnaissance. he and his team have been pouring over the last year to produce current's official year-end retro spectacular the 25 best things about 2012. so he's back from the trenches to tell us what it is and how it is and where you can find it. our very own brett ehrlich is in los angeles. brett, so glad to have you inside "the war room" live. >> it is great to be here live. it is kind of an out-of-body experience. if i mess up, i want to retake it but that's impossible. >> jennifer: we can always press the button and have you disappear off the screen but we won't do that because you need to tell me how did this project
come about? >> this came about, i was sitting in my office ready to just, you know, go off to thanksgiving break and i got a phone call and i'll never forget it was the people from current tv saying brett you're doing this! and i was like do i have a choice? they said no. it is a contractual obligation. no. it is super great. they asked if i want to do it. of course. it is an hour-long special. we poured through all of the year's activities. you know, after a year of focusing on things like voter suppression and the super pacs and how they're ruining politics, the light stuff you know, i decided it was time to go after the hard news. so i found out how many times lindsay lohan has been arrested this year. reasons why -- >> jennifer: no. that's not what you put in the year-end retro spectacular. >> no. that's not what i put in. >> jennifer: okay. >> the things i have put in are not that much better.
it is a great mix. it is a mix of things that happened in politics. and it is things that happened in pop culture music movies. we go through the biggest box office bombs of the year. and there's actually one actor that was in most of them. and so you know, things like we went through a lot of the primary happened straddling 2011 and the beginning of 2012. so we weren't able to focus on the crazy things that happened at the end of 2011. we could only focus on the insanely crazy things that happened in the beginning of 2011. >> jennifer: have you got a clip? >> we have a clip. this one is about -- there were a number of music videos that happened that went huge this year. gangnam style got a billion views. this one is called "call me maybe." it went viral after justin bieber tweeted about it. after that, it racked up 350 million views on youtube. here is a take of the 25 best things of 2012.
♪ hey, i just met you ♪ ♪ this is crazy ♪ ♪ so here's my number ♪ ♪ so call me, maybe ♪ >> meeting someone giving your number and asking them to call you. that's not crazy. that's how you get someone to call you. if you want to make this sound crazy, i have in suggestions. one, i just met you. and this is crazy. here's my number. call me by your dad's name. two, i just met you. and this is crazy. at night i dress up just like a baby. and finally this is crazy. here's my number. it's the number of people i've killed. call me. maybe. >> jennifer: so brett, where can people find this? >> if you want to find it -- eventually, it will air on current sometime between christmas and new year's but in the meantime, we have an extended cut of it so it has five extra minutes of the 25 best things of 2012 and it is available on demand. so usually the way you do it is